I saw yesterday some statistics that people are reading slower on their eBook devices then on actual books. I find that I read noticeably slower on the Kindle then the iPad, but not noticeably slower on the iPad than a real book. I’m not a jiffy speed reader anyway; I’m not sure it makes a huge difference. The stat I saw was 6.2%. A summary of the study is here.
But what did we learn? People hate to read off their PCs*, loved their iPad, and was still fond of the printed book. This is sort of a “duh” moment, but it is “duh” quantified.
I am firm in my belief that the codex is going nowhere. Not only are the devices expensive**, but they are good only for fiction and narrative-form non-fiction. I know that Amazon has a dream of getting into the textbook market but I have a hard time seeing how a math book is going to work on the Kindle.
Meanwhile, the market is predicted to grow to some 12.5% this year. Borders, late as always, opened their eBook store this morning with the execrable Sony Reader. Better late than never, I suppose. But I cannot seem to browse the store online to see if it has Pynchon in eBook form so it is dead to me.
For those of you who are sort of waffling on this eBook thing, I recommend downloading Arturo Perez-Reverte’s absolutely brilliant “The Club Dumas.” from the Kindle store to try it out and read it on whatever device has Kindle software (all of them). Or really, just read that book in general because it’s awesome.
* I am notorious for having to dump every PDF I get to the printer — or did before I had an iPad and the sainty perfection of GoodReader. I avoided long articles like the plague but now between Instapaper and GoodReader on the iPad, I can read them easily.
** w00t had a $150 Kindle and it sold out almost instantly. The Kindle is now at Target. I expect a sub-$100 reading device that doesn’t suck by Christmas. Even then, it will lock out a fair amount of the market in price.